Poll: Most in Pakistan view US as enemy

A record number of Pakistanis consider the United States an enemy, according to a new survey from the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

The survey found that 74 percent of the Pakistani respondents thought the Untied States was more of an enemy than a partner, while just 8 percent thought of America as a partner.

The percentage of people in Pakistan that think the United States is an enemy has risen the last few years, up from 69 percent in 2011 and 64 percent three years ago.

The poll found that the United States’s favorability rating in Pakistan was at 12 percent, while 80 percent had an unfavorable view.


Of the respondents, 45 percent thought that improving relations with the United States was important, but just 13 percent thought they had improved recently, while 58 thought things had not improved.

The survey reflects a year of escalating tensions between the United States and Pakistan, as multiple events have strained relations.

Pakistani officials were angered by the U.S. raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, calling it a violation of their sovereignty.

Then in November, NATO forces accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan-Pakistan border, prompting Islamabad to shut down NATO supply lines into Afghanistan. Those remain closed, in part over Washington’s refusal to apologize for the incident.

Both sides also blame the other for failing to control the border and allowing militants to launch attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The U.S. view of Pakistan was not part of the survey, but things probably wouldn’t look much better. Senior Obama administration officials have said they suspected Pakistan knew where bin Laden was hiding, and were outraged recently when Pakistan jailed a doctor for 33 years who assisted the CIA in finding bin Laden’s whereabouts.

One Senate committee responded to the jailing by cutting U.S. aid to Pakistan by $33 million, $1 million for year of the sentence. Other aid has also been restricted in Congress.

The Pakistani public doesn’t have a positive view of U.S. aid, either. The Pew survey found 38 percent thought U.S. economic aid had a mostly negative effect, while 12 thought it was positive. Just 8 percent thought U.S. military aid was positive, and 40 thought it was negative.